Saving Strays

One student’s story of rescuing a stray dog and finding it a loving home.

I spent the weekend with a King.
On a seemingly normal Friday night, my weekend was changed completely. I had decided to spend time with some friends at the University of Tulsa Pi Kappa Alpha House (Pike). A few of my other friends elected to pass by QuikTrip before heading out. Around 10 p.m., I received a text message with a picture of a dog. The caption was, “oh nooo.” I didn’t understand the issue at hand, so I replied back, and after the exchange of a few text messages, I was told that the dog was a stray!
I quickly left Pike and made my way to the Hardesty parking lot where the dog was curled up, afraid in the backseat of my friend’s car. Initially, I didn’t think it would be smart to touch the dog, as a stray may have fleas and other diseases. Nevertheless, I petted the dog through the car window. He just lay there and looked up at me. Slowly, I coaxed the dog out of the car and got him walking around. Ali, my friend, went inside to grab some food and water while I played with the dog. Though he was nervous, the nameless dog was starting to open up. We found a tennis ball and began to play fetch with him. By the time Ali came back, the dog was playing and running around. The dog paused and ran up to Ali as she emerged from the bottom of the hill. A yellow Cheerios box had caught his attention. He went crazy. That was his absolute favorite treat, and that is what we fed him with for the time being.
As the night progressed, I became much more relaxed and was sure that the dog would not bite me or harm me in anyway. Eventually, I decided I wanted to keep him, even though he may have an owner. As I sat there thinking how I could possibly make it work, I thought it would be a great idea to give him a name. Jokingly, he assumed the title of Lord Theodore IV, or Theo for short. Little did I know, that name would stick. As midnight approached, Ali decided that she was going to keep the dog for the night in the Mayo Village apartments.
The next morning, I met Ali at Hardesty at the crack of dawn, or so it seemed. At 9 a.m., we took Theo to the ASPCA, much against my will. I was absolutely set on keeping the little dog. It was clear that he was well trained, and taken care of, yet I knew it was the responsible thing to try and see if he had an owner. Besides, if I ended up keeping him, I would feel so much less guilty. We arrived at the ASPCA at 9:50 a.m., and they opened at 10. We sat in the car, cherishing the 10 minutes that I thought would be our last together. He sat quietly, as if he knew that we would be giving him up. I was under the same impression. When the time came, we got to speak to the Vet, who said that he could not take the dog in since it hadn’t been seen by the Tulsa pound.
We gladly left and went right back to campus. I took Theo for a stroll around campus, taking pride in the fact that I had a dog. It was special for me, especially since I never had a dog growing up. I went back to the Pike fraternity house. All of the members, relaxing on the fine Saturday, played with the dog. We threw the tennis ball around, and Theo was absolutely having the time of his life. He was loved by every single Pike there. There was even a motion to adopt the dog and give him a permanent home, but unfortunately, the bylaws prohibited this. As the day went on, more and more people played with the dog.
Overnight, my life was consumed by taking care of this dog, even if all we had to feed him were Cheerios and salads.
Later that afternoon, we took the dog to the Tulsa pound where we checked to see if he had a microchip in him. Interestingly enough, he did not. At this point, Ali and I realized we only had two options. We could either take him with us, or leave him at the pound, where he had an abysmal 66-percent chance of surviving. I decided that it would be absolutely irresponsible to leave him, and though I did not have a plan to take care of him, I took him back to campus.
Later that afternoon, some friends and I decided to give him a bath. Graciously, a Pike offered us his bathtub to wash the pup. We used Dawn dish soap, as their commercials always depict rescuers using their products to wash ducklings that were stuck in oil.
After his bath, Theo seemed to be absolutely ecstatic. His high energy and great behavior helped me find him a temporary home, in the apartment of another Pike, Brandon. Throughout the day, I begged people to adopt Theo, but it was to no avail.
Later that night, I found myself at Walmart, where I decided it would be great to get the dog a bag of kibble. Not knowing how long I would have the dog for, I invested in a 16-pound bag of dog food.
After I fed Theo with a satisfying meal, I took him to Brandon’s apartment, where he would spend the night. Interestingly, Theo was not happy being left alone, and he whined for some time as we were leaving the apartment. I went to my room and tried to sleep. I couldn’t. My mind was on the dog, hoping that he wouldn’t urinate in the apartment. After what seemed like forever, I fell asleep at 4:40 a.m., only to wake up at 9 to walk the dog.
I grabbed the kibble and made my way to the apartment. After feeding Theo, Brandon and I made our way to the Caf. A friend of Brandon’s sat down, and I asked him the same thing I asked 40 other people, “Are you looking for a dog to adopt?”
His answer was no, but he gave me the number of a friend who might be interested. Not too long after, Bryson, a sophomore soccer player, arrived at Brandon’s with his girlfriend. They played with the dog and took him for a walk. He was interested in adopting the dog and told me he would text me later.
As he promised, I received a text saying that he was keen on adopting Theo. Though I was relieved, a piece of me was disappointed that I couldn’t keep Theo anymore. Bryson and I agreed that he would pick the dog up later that afternoon.
I spent as much time as I could with Theo. I took a large piece of meat and peanut butter from the Caf and went to Brandon’s apartment. As a goodbye treat, I fed Theo well. For dessert, Theo enjoyed four tablespoons of peanut butter. Shortly after, Bryson arrived, and kindly adopted Lord Theodore IV.


TU Policy
University regulations prohibit pets in all other University Housing. This includes but is not limited to dogs, cats, birds, snakes, lizards, hamsters, mice and other rodents.
An automatic $100.00 fine plus cleaning costs or carpet replacement and/or student conduct action will accompany any violation of this policy. In addition, the cost of pest control treatments (averaging $75-125 per treatment) will be charged to individuals housing unauthorized pets. This includes pets that are just visiting. Repeat offenses may result in removal from housing under the terms of the housing license.
The University of TulsaTM offers a pet-friendly option in West Park Apartments. Details can be found online.

Post Author: Neb Esayas